Japanese Cash for Japanese Clunkers
In the Land of the Rising Sun, few American models qualify for the initiative
The AAPC, whose members are General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, alleges that Japan's program unfairly discriminates against U.S. manufacturers. The program awards 250,000 yen (about $2,800) to buyers who trade in 13-year-old vehicles for cars that meet Japan's 2010 fuel-efficiency standard of 35.5 mpg; those without a trade-in can still qualify for a rebate of 100,000 yen (about $1,132) should they purchase a vehicle that surpasses that fuel-efficiency goal.
While 87 percent of new Japanese models qualify for the program, many U.S. vehicles are barred from consideration due to an import program for relatively low-volume manufacturer sales which states that fuel economy be certified by the Japanese government. The AAPC notes that although this bars a large number of new American cars and trucks, the U.S. government made no such restrictions during its Cash for Clunkers initiative, which cost around $3 billion: Of the 677,000 cars and trucks sold during that program, 317,300 were Japanese. Likewise, while only 7,901 cars and trucks from Detroit manufacturers have been sold in Japan this year to date, 1.3 million Japanese vehicles have been imported into the U.S. during the same time frame.
Per the AAPC's letter:
“We urge the U.S. government to make clear that it cannot tolerate this outright discrimination, particularly at a time when it has provided substantial direct financial support for Japanese automakers in this market.” (Source: The Detroit Free Press.)
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